Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS4261012 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 06/049,819
Publication dateApr 7, 1981
Filing dateJun 18, 1979
Priority dateJun 18, 1979
Publication number049819, 06049819, US 4261012 A, US 4261012A, US-A-4261012, US4261012 A, US4261012A
InventorsLaurence G. Maloomian
Original AssigneeMaloomian Laurence G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System and method for composite display
US 4261012 A
An apparatus to allow a prospective consumer of articles of clothing to try on one or more articles of clothing without actually putting the articles of clothing on his or her person. This is accomplished by means of an electronically produced full figure image which is composed of the consumer's head and a model's body, the model's body attired in articles of clothing to be presented. The composite image is viewed by the consumer on a television screen and this gives the effect of the consumer being attired in the articles of clothing presented.
Previous page
Next page
Having described my invention, what I now claim is:
1. A system for displaying a full figure composite display of two separate images which comprises:
means to record in an ambient environment as a first image a portion of a consumer's body;
means to record as a second image at least a portion of an article of clothing;
means to combine said images in adjacent relationship as a full figure composite display;
means to display said composite; and,
means to proportion one image with respect to the other which includes means to vary separately one of the images along either a horizontal axis or a vertical axis or both whereby a fully proportioned full figure composite is displayed.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein the first image is disproportional with respect to the second image.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein the means to record the first image includes a video camera in combination with a videotape recorder.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein the means to record includes still photography.
5. The system of claim 1 wherein the means to record the second image includes means to store a plurality of distinct second images.
6. The system of claim 5 wherein the means to record includes a slide chain projector.
7. The system of claim 6 wherein the first image is a common fixed image and the second image is one of a plurality of images and which includes means to display said first image with one of the plurality of second images in timed sequence.
8. The system of claim 7 wherein the means to combine includes a special effects generator.
9. A method for displaying a full figured composite picture of two separate images which includes:
recording in an ambient environmment a portion of a consumer's body as a first image;
recording at least a portion of an article of clothing as a second image;
combining the first and second images in adjacent relationship to provide a full figured composite display;
displaying the composite; and,
varying the second image individually along X and Y axes until the second image is proportional to the first.
10. The method of claim 9 which includes:
providing a plurality of second images each of said images corresponding to a separate article of clothing;
combining and displaying sequentially the second images with said first image whereby the consumer may view a plurality of articles of clothing on herself/himself.
11. The method of claim 10 which includes recording the first image with a video camera.
12. The method of claim 11 which includes storing said first image on a videotape recorder.
13. The method of claim 9 which includes combining the first and second images in a special effects generator.
14. The method of claim 9 which includes recording the first image as a still photographic image.
15. The method of claim 9 which includes recording the articles of clothing as still photographic images.

This invention relates to a system of the type enabling a subject using the system to view a composite picture showing part of the subject himself (or herself) together with some separate article or object as though the subject were actually wearing such article. For instance, such a system, when used in a ladies bridal salon, might allow a customer to sample the effects of various wedding gowns and choose the most becoming one without actually having to try them on.

Systems of this general kind have already been proposed and have utilized various optical expendients for producing the composite pictures. However, none of such prior art devices so far as known to applicant, have been entirely satisfactory.

Perhaps the simplest type of system used employs a semi-transparent mirror positioned before the subject, with means for positioning the actual articles to be displayed, at a suitable position behind the mirror, so that a subject when looking at the semi-transparent mirror will see the the reflected image of his or her face or figure, together with the article, as seen by transparency through the semi-transparent mirror so that it will appear to be naturally joined with the reflected image. Systems of this kind are advantageously simple, but have the serious drawback that they require a large number of articles, samples or models to physically present, and the system will in many instances involve a prohibited amount of storage space.

Other composite display systems have accordingly been proposed in which these difficulties are eliminated through the use of projection slides for displaying the images of the articles in the composite pictures, thereby dispensing with the need, for a physical presence of the actual articles. Slides of course are much easier to store in large numbers and more convenient to manipulate, than are the articles themselves.

Another system requires a black draped subject looking through a semi-transparent mirror, the reflection of her own face in the mirror is formed on the plane of a screen, together with the projected image of a slide formed by a projector on the screen. The slides represent headless models wearing different articles of clothing whereby the subject appears to see composite pictures of herself as though wearing the articles.

Although this system will allow a full figure composite image, it does so under conditions which are not entirely comfortable for the viewing subject, and has serious drawbacks. For the system to work, it must be used in a darkened room which many people find uncomfortable especially in the presence of strangers (salespeople/system operators). Furthermore, the subject must sit with a black cape on her body from the neck down keeping her head fixed in a preset position so as not to misalign the composite image, additionally, there is an inherent inability to produce a composite image of dark or black skinned people. In producing the reflection of the viewer's face from the mirror, a black cape is used to black out the viewer's body below the neck, this ability of the mirror not to reflect the blacked out part of the viewer's body also makes it impossible for the mirror to reflect adequately a dark or black skinned face. Further, in order to have a common background for the composite image as seen in the mirror, the slides are photographed against a black background which will not allow a high quality (detail) reproduction in the slides of black articles of clothing. With this system, the operator attempts to correspond the body size of the projected image (model's body) to the viewer's body by means of a zoom lens on the projector. Inherently, a zoom lens will increase or decrease the size of its projected image proportionately in all directions. Therefore, with this apparatus, it is impossible to create a short fat image or a tall, thin image but rather only a short thin, tall fat or a well proportioned image in between which may or may not correspond with the viewer's own body. Another drawback of this system is the large amount of space it requires making its use impracticle except in very large stores.

The prior art in this field is best represented by U.S. Pat. No. 1,133,311, wherein the subject's head and a garment are composed on a mirror; U.S. Pat. No. 2,722,600, superimposition of two separate images on a common screen; U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,730,565 and 3,576,945, composite pictures where background scenes are blended with a separate image; U.S. Pat. No. 3,398,664, directed to an automatic photoprocessor, and, U.S. Pat. No. 3,849,596 directed to various techniques for using a television camera for automatic alignment of two images side-by-side.

None of the foregoing references teach a system which is compact, allows the consumer to be photographed in an open area and allows the composite picture to be proportioned along at least one of two axes such that the image of the model's body can be adjusted to be proportioned to the consumer's head.

My invention encompasses a composite display system which overcomes the difficulties of the prior art and which is convenient to use and operate, will enable a full figure, full size display under comfortable conditions for the consumer viewer, can be readily adjusted and operated by the system operator in order to view sequentially a series of composite full figure picture displays at a rate as fast or slow as desired.

My invention is broadly directed to a system for displaying to a consumer, composite views including part of the consumer together with the image of an article as though said article were actually associated with or worn by the consumer which system comprises, means to record a portion of a body of a consumer, means to store the recorded portion of the consumer, means to store a plurality of images which images when combined with the recorded portion of the consumer will provide a full figure display, means to combine the images, means to display the combined images one adjacent to the other, and, means to vary the proportions of at least one image to match with the proportions of the other image in providing the full figure display.

The method of my invention of providing a proportioned full figure image which includes: recording at least a portion of a consumer on a medium, recording at least a portion of an article of clothing on a medium, combining the images to produce a full figure image, varying proportions of one of the images with respect to the other to provide a proportioned full figured composite image.

In the preferred embodiment the system comprising a video camera and a first videotape recorder, a second videotape recorder or slide chain, a switcher fader with a special effects generator and a television monitor. The videocamera takes the image of the consumer which is recorded on the first videotape recorder. Pre-recorded articles of clothing to be combined with the image of the consumer are stored in the second videotape recorder. Both images are combined in the special effects generator and displayer on a television monitor. Through use of the special effects generator, at least one of the images, preferably that of the article of clothing are varied at least along horizontal and vertical axes to provide a proportioned full figured composite.


The drawing is a block and pictorial diagram representing the preferred embodiment of my invention.


Referring to the drawing, a television camera or video camera 10, such as a Sony Model DXC 1600 communicates with a video playback unit 12, such as a Sony Model KP 7200. The camera 10 only focuses or records the neck and head of a consumer 14 to provide an image 16. This is achieved simply by proper adjustment of the camera lens. The image 16 is transferred to the playback unit 12 where it is fed to a video multiplexer unit 17 such as a special effects generator ISI Model 902. The special effects generator 17 produces a composite output signal of all video input signals arranged in a predetermined synchronized time sequence.

The various articles of clothing are modeled and the portion of the model displaying only the article of clothing that is from the neck down, is recorded by a video camera 18 to provide a second image 20. As many recordings of various articles of clothing as desired are taken and stored in sequence on a videotape recorder 22 GBC 215C. The output images 20 from this videotape recorder 22 is input to the special effects generator 17. The images in the special effects generator 17 are aligned one above the other and the output as a composite 24 is displayed on the screen 26. The proper side-by-side or adjacent alignment or display or two separate video signals feed into such a special effects generator is well known and need not be described in detail. Also the special effects generator referenced above or its equivalent has the ability to vary independently, the displayed portion of either one or both of the two images making up the composite, along vertical and horizontal axes.

Clearly it will only be a rare instance when the view of the consumer's head and neck will be proportional with the previously recorded view of the article of clothing modeled from the neck down. Therefore, the vertical and horizontal adjustments are necessary, as distinguished from those adjustments which are commonly found with a zoom lens. For example, the consumer may be a size 16 and the model a size 10, preferably, the horizontal and vertical axes are adjusted or the article of clothing so that a true proportional full figure composite will be presented to the viewer-consumer.

Alternatively, in view of the video camera 10 and recorder 12 the system operator could take an instant photograph of the consumer's head and neck. The operator could then place this photograph (image) in front of a video camera within the system. The video camera would recognize the image of the consumer's head and feed it directly into the special effects generator 17. The system operator could also make an instant transparency of the consumer's head and then this effect (image) could be placed in a slide chain within the system which would feed directly into the special effects generator. In either of these alternative embodiments, the video camera and videotape recorder can be eliminated. Further, in view of the videotape recorder 22 a slide chain such as a 35 millimeter slide chain such as a Buhl 575-030 as shown in the drawing may be used.

With the above system, it is clear it is not dependent on black in either the background or as a means of eliminating any portion of the consumer's body below the neck. More importantly, the composite image on the display screen can be designed so as to allow the model's image to be adjusted along the vertical and horizontal axes independently of each other so as to reapportion the model's image to any desired width, height combination thereby creating an image more nearly resembling that of the consumer's own body. Further, this system can be viewed under normal interior lighting conditions much the same as home television viewing thereby providing for more comfortable environment for both the consumer and the salesperson. Also, once the consumer's head has been recorded by either the video camera or still photography the consumer is free to assume any position or location comfortable and convenient for viewing the display screen. Still further, because there is no need to record or photograph the articles of clothing against a black background the clothing can be shown against backgrounds which enhance the color of the clothing. In this regard, the system if so designed could allow the composite image to be superimposed over a background which would be a natural setting for the use of the clothing displayed, like an evening gown displayed over the background of a formal ballroom, such as employing the techniques disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,576,945. The consumer's image may be digitized and stored in a computer. The image can be output to switcher fader 17. Lastly, although all of the components have been shown in block diagram form, except for the first video camera, all components may be housed in a single cabinet which requires only a few square feet of floor space will need no special areas or darkened rooms and can be placed anywhere convenient for its use in any sized department or store.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3497614 *Jul 31, 1967Feb 24, 1970Us NavyElectronic vidicon image size control
US3507570 *Mar 11, 1968Apr 21, 1970Audio Visuel FranceComposite optical display system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4467349 *Apr 7, 1982Aug 21, 1984Maloomian Laurence GSystem and method for composite display
US4486774 *Feb 16, 1983Dec 4, 1984Maloomian Laurence GSystem and method for composite display
US4602280 *Dec 5, 1983Jul 22, 1986Maloomian Laurence GWeight and/or measurement reduction preview system
US4823285 *Mar 11, 1988Apr 18, 1989Blancato Vito LMethod for displaying hairstyles
US4872056 *Feb 5, 1987Oct 3, 1989Video Graphic Styling, Inc.Method for displaying selected hairstyles in video form
US4949286 *Nov 9, 1988Aug 14, 1990Sony CorporationComputer graphics apparatus
US4991005 *Oct 27, 1989Feb 5, 1991Smith Ethel LGlass frame viewing assembly and method of use
US5053956 *Apr 25, 1989Oct 1, 1991Coats ViyellaInteractive system for retail transactions
US5060171 *Jul 27, 1989Oct 22, 1991Clearpoint Research CorporationA system and method for superimposing images
US5159462 *Oct 31, 1990Oct 27, 1992Canon Kabushiki KaishaVideo signal generating apparatus
US5175806 *Mar 28, 1989Dec 29, 1992Computer Design, Inc.Method and apparatus for fast surface detail application to an image
US5189563 *Dec 14, 1990Feb 23, 1993Sima Products CorporationVideo tape editor with fade control functions
US5241391 *Oct 21, 1991Aug 31, 1993Gec Ferranti Defence Systems LimitedVideo camera system for recording a scene and a head-up display
US5280570 *Sep 11, 1992Jan 18, 1994Jordan Arthur JSpectacle imaging and lens simulating system and method
US5420622 *Sep 23, 1991May 30, 1995Faroudja; Philippe Y. C.Stop frame animation system using reference drawings to position an object by superimposition of TV displays
US5434838 *Dec 4, 1992Jul 18, 1995Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Data recording apparatus and method with verification of optical disc
US5513116 *Jul 25, 1991Apr 30, 1996Hallmark Cards IncorporatedComputer controlled machine for vending personalized products or the like
US5515268 *Sep 9, 1993May 7, 1996Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki KaishaMethod of and system for ordering products
US5530652 *Aug 11, 1993Jun 25, 1996Levi Strauss & Co.Automatic garment inspection and measurement system
US5546316 *Apr 6, 1992Aug 13, 1996Hallmark Cards, IncorporatedComputer controlled system for vending personalized products
US5550746 *Dec 5, 1994Aug 27, 1996American Greetings CorporationMethod and apparatus for storing and selectively retrieving product data by correlating customer selection criteria with optimum product designs based on embedded expert judgments
US5559714 *May 10, 1993Sep 24, 1996Hallmark Cards, IncorporatedMethod and apparatus for display sequencing personalized social occasion products
US5612716 *Sep 18, 1995Mar 18, 1997Casio Computer Co., Ltd.Image display device
US5623587 *Jun 12, 1995Apr 22, 1997Kideo Productions, Inc.Method and apparatus for producing an electronic image
US5691923 *Apr 25, 1995Nov 25, 1997Levi Strauss & Co.Digital measuring system
US5717454 *Jul 14, 1993Feb 10, 1998Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.Method for improving pose quality in a commercial portrait studio
US5726898 *Sep 1, 1994Mar 10, 1998American Greetings CorporationMethod and apparatus for storing and selectively retrieving and delivering product data based on embedded expert judgements
US5768142 *May 31, 1995Jun 16, 1998American Greetings CorporationMethod and apparatus for storing and selectively retrieving product data based on embedded expert suitability ratings
US5850222 *Sep 13, 1995Dec 15, 1998Pixel Dust, Inc.Method and system for displaying a graphic image of a person modeling a garment
US5875110 *Jun 7, 1995Feb 23, 1999American Greetings CorporationMethod and system for vending products
US5930769 *Oct 7, 1996Jul 27, 1999Rose; AndreaSystem and method for fashion shopping
US5937081 *Apr 10, 1996Aug 10, 1999O'brill; Michael R.Image composition system and method of using same
US5986670 *Sep 13, 1996Nov 16, 1999Dries; Roberta L.Method and apparatus for producing a computer generated display that permits visualization of changes to the interior or exterior of a building structure shown in its actual environment
US5993048 *Apr 25, 1990Nov 30, 1999Hallmark Cards, IncorporatedPersonalized greeting card system
US6148148 *May 29, 1998Nov 14, 2000Photostar LimitedAutomatic photobooth with electronic imaging camera
US6151421 *Jun 6, 1997Nov 21, 2000Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Image composing apparatus and method having enhanced design flexibility
US6298197Nov 22, 1994Oct 2, 2001Photostar LimitedAutomatic photobooth with electronic imaging camera
US6307568 *Oct 28, 1998Oct 23, 2001Imaginarix Ltd.Virtual dressing over the internet
US6435969Oct 29, 1999Aug 20, 2002Nintendo Co., Ltd.Portable game machine having image capture, manipulation and incorporation
US6540615Jul 3, 2002Apr 1, 2003Nintendo Co., Ltd.Portable game machine having image capture, manipulation and incorporation
US6583792Nov 9, 1999Jun 24, 2003Newag Digital, LlcSystem and method for accurately displaying superimposed images
US6677967Feb 21, 2001Jan 13, 2004Nintendo Co., Ltd.Video game system for capturing images and applying the captured images to animated game play characters
US6701207Nov 2, 2001Mar 2, 2004Kinney & Lange, P.A.Method for integrating information relating to apparel fit, apparel sizing and body form variance
US6894686May 15, 2001May 17, 2005Nintendo Co., Ltd.System and method for automatically editing captured images for inclusion into 3D video game play
US6903756Mar 17, 2000Jun 7, 2005Jarbridge, Inc.Merged images viewed via a virtual storage closet
US7062454May 6, 1999Jun 13, 2006Jarbridge, Inc.Previewing system and method
US7149665Feb 26, 2001Dec 12, 2006Browzwear International LtdSystem and method for simulation of virtual wear articles on virtual models
US7263499 *Jan 24, 2002Aug 28, 2007Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.Electronic commerce system in which commodities are displayed in combination with background images
US7270329Aug 19, 2005Sep 18, 2007Mattel, Inc.Design game with deductive component
US7418407Jul 27, 2004Aug 26, 2008Jarbridge, Inc.Method for electronic gifting using merging images
US7496526 *Jun 27, 2001Feb 24, 2009Razumov Sergey NMethod and system for selling clothes
US7663648Nov 12, 1999Feb 16, 2010My Virtual Model Inc.System and method for displaying selected garments on a computer-simulated mannequin
US7712035Nov 18, 2004May 4, 2010Jarbridge, Inc.Merged images viewed via a virtual storage closet
US7827488Jan 28, 2005Nov 2, 2010Sitrick David HImage tracking and substitution system and methodology for audio-visual presentations
US7859551Feb 25, 2002Dec 28, 2010Bulman Richard LObject customization and presentation system
US7867086Nov 1, 2007Jan 11, 2011Sitrick David HImage integration with replaceable content
US7917397Aug 14, 2006Mar 29, 2011Jarbridge, Inc.Merging private images for gifting
US7958016Jan 12, 2007Jun 7, 2011International Business Machines CorporationMethod and apparatus for specifying product characteristics by combining characteristics of products
US8078499Sep 30, 2009Dec 13, 2011Jarbridge, Inc.Server-based processing for on-line viewing, purchasing and related analytics
US8121904Oct 11, 2009Feb 21, 2012Clear With Computers, LLCElectronic proposal preparation system
US8206223Apr 28, 2008Jun 26, 2012Mattel, Inc.Computer fashion game with machine-readable trading cards
US8317611Jan 3, 2003Nov 27, 2012Bassilic Technologies LlcImage integration, mapping and linking system and methodology
US8512144 *Aug 30, 2007Aug 20, 2013Tipping Point Group, LlcMethod and apparatus for providing secondary gaming machine functionality
US8538823Sep 29, 2009Sep 17, 2013Pangram Acquisitions L.L.C.Merging image data based on prospective shopping basket selection
US8548862Sep 28, 2009Oct 1, 2013Pangram Acquisitions L.L.C.Methods, systems and devices for categorization of articles and associated images and for image merging thereof
US8549403Oct 15, 2010Oct 1, 2013David H. SitrickImage tracking and substitution system and methodology
US8660902Jul 23, 2004Feb 25, 2014Lori Coulter, LlcMethods and systems for selling apparel
US8682749Oct 1, 2009Mar 25, 2014Pangram Acquisitions L.L.C.E-shopping approach involving combinable and viewable color-matched images
US8721449Aug 30, 2007May 13, 2014Tipping Point Group, LlcMethod and system for paragame activity at electronic gaming machine
US20080113802 *Aug 30, 2007May 15, 2008Sam JohnsonMethod and apparatus for providing secondary gaming machine functionality
US20110105229 *Jan 11, 2011May 5, 2011Bassilic Technologies LlcImage integration with replaceable content
WO1991001032A1 *Jul 9, 1990Jan 24, 1991Seconde Opinions LimitedVisual record system
WO2000022955A1 *Oct 12, 1999Apr 27, 2000Eric FischerSystem for supporting the selection of articles with the aid of a video camera
WO2001011886A1 *Oct 25, 1999Feb 15, 2001Hi Pic LtdVirtual dressing over the internet
U.S. Classification348/77, 348/586, 348/659, 348/E05.058, 386/225
International ClassificationH04N5/272
Cooperative ClassificationH04N5/272, H04N2005/2726
European ClassificationH04N5/272